FIDUCIARY

fiduciary

Fiduciary is a legal term.  To act as a fiduciary means to always put the other person’s interests first.  Cornell Law School’s web site states that “…a fiduciary duty is the strictest duty of care recognized by the US legal system” and that fiduciaries “have a duty to avoid any conflicts of interest…”

Sadly, the financial services industry has fought against being held to this standard.  Instead, it advocates a much less stringent standard called “suitability” where conflicts of interest need not be disclosed and where products other than the best can be recommended.  Would you go to a doctor or lawyer who only offered “suitable” care or service?  Would you buy food that was “suitable” because it had two days before expiring?  Of course not.  Hold your financial planner to the highest of standards.  Insist that they state in writing that they will act as a fiduciary.